These easy apple hand pies with rum raisins take some humble ingredients and elevate them to a decadent dessert. You’re just 45 minutes away from this cozy, tasty treat!
This post was originally published in November 2012. // As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
One of our family’s favorite treats are the turnovers from Whole Foods. They usually have apple and cherry flavors, and we make quick work out of a box of them. But they are so easy to make at home…like just about as easy as it is to drive to the store and pick up a box. Store bought puff pastry is one of my secret weapons in the kitchen because it makes anything instantly taste more decadent (I always keep some in the freezer)! Like a humble box of apples from Costco. One minute they are being sliced for lunchboxes and the next they are transformed into a delicious pastry with rum raisins! Easy peasy.
What is a hand pie, and how is it different than a turnover?
A hand pie is simply a small, hand sized pie, made with two separate pieces of dough—a top and a bottom. A turnover is similar, but uses one piece of dough folded to make a top and bottom, the dough is literally turned over.
Homemade Rum Raisins
Rum Raisins have always been a favorite flavor of mine. Are they considered a flavor? Maybe. My parents used to buy the Häagen-Dazs rum raisin ice cream (for themselves) when I was a kid, and I always loved it. Thinking back, that’s probably a pretty weird flavor for a kid to love. But I did. Anyway, I digress. It’s pretty easy to make homemade rum raisins. Simply warm rum in a small pan, add the raisins, and allow them to soak up the liquid. Be careful though, especially if you are working with a gas stove. It’s easy to catch the rum on fire. Ask me how I know.
If you’d like to avoid alcohol you can do the same process with apple juice instead of rum!
Why should you precook your apple pie filling?
Apples shrink when they cook as they release their juices. If you place raw apples in your pie, and put a crust on top (rather than a streudel topping like in Aunt Betty’s Vegan Apple Pie) you will end up with some hollow spots as the apples shrink but the crust stays put. To avoid this you can “preshrink” your apples by sautéing them first, and then use the cooked mixture to fill your pie crust. This also cuts the baking time down considerably, so that the apples are perfectly cooked at the same time that the puff pastry becomes beautifully golden brown! (Also, this is THE BEST peeler in the world—I love it so much!)
Aquafaba makes a great vegan egg wash!
Aquafaba, the liquid from a can of beans, is a great vegan egg wash. Brushing it over the top of your pastry helps it to brown beautifully. But it also has true sticking power! I like to seal my hand pies with a quick brush of aquafaba. I spread it on the bottom piece, then put a scoop of the filling on top, and then put on the top piece of puff pastry. For these pies I used a ravioli stamp to crimp the edges. You can also use a fork to crimp the edges, but don’t skip this step or your pie filling will ooze out the sides. Finally, I brushed the tops with aquafaba and “glued” the cut out pieces of dough for a decoration, and sprinkled with sparkling sugar.
Is Puff Pastry Vegan?
Yeah, sure, you betcha! Well, most of it. It’s always a good idea to check the ingredients, but most/many brands of puff pastry are accidentally vegan. I like using the local-to-me brand Aussie Bakery. Pepperidge Farm is also vegan.
Adjusting for a crowd!
This recipe as written makes twelve 3″ hand pies. But, if you’re serving a crowd, you can get more bang for your buck by making these into puff pastry cups, rather than hand pies. The puff pastry cups use just one 3″ square of puff pastry, as seen in my Puff Pastry Pumpkin Pie Cups. Simply pop the puff pastry into a mini muffin tin, add the filling, and bake. They will still be delicious!
More Vegan Puff Pastry Recipes You Will Love!
Let’s Make Apple Hand Pies with Rum Raisins!
Are you ready? You’re just a few simple steps away from these yummy Apple Hand Pies with Rum Raisins! Leave me a note in the comments and let me know how they turn out!
Apple Hand Pies with Rum Raisins
For the Pie Filling:
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 2 large apples peeled and diced into 1/4" pieces
- 1 Tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- dash of salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1/2 Tablespoon cold water
For the Pies:
- 1 package vegan puff pastry (2 sheets)
- 1/4 cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of beans)
- a few Tablespoons of coarse granulated sugar for sprinkling on top
- Remove puff pastry from packaging and allow to sit at room temperature on a lightly floured surface for 45 minutes to thaw. Do not try to unfold until it has completely thawed or it will break.
- Meanwhile, heat rum in a small saucepan over medium high heat and add raisins. Let simmer until raisins have absorbed all of the rum. Remove from heat. Be very careful with this step, as the rum can catch on fire easily.
- Peel apples and cut into a small dice. Heat butter in a medium sized pot until it melts and add the apples. Mix in the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Allow to cook for 5 minutes to release the juices. Mix the cornstarch slurry in to the apples to thicken the sauce a bit. Add raisins and mix well. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 400º.
- Once the puff pastry has thawed, unfold 1 sheet onto a clean work surface (You will use the second sheet as well, just work one at a time). Lightly coat both sides with flour. Use your rolling pin to roll the dough out to about 9x12 inches. Cut the puff pastry into 12 3" squares.
- Brush a piece of puff pastry with aquafaba. Place 1 Tablespoon of the filling on the center of the pastry square.
- Cut a small hole into a second 3" square piece of pastry (I use mini cookie cutters for this). This will allow the hot filling to vent and the pastry won't pop apart.
- Place the cut pastry piece on top of the piece with filling.
- Then use a fork (or other tool) to crimp the edges, pushing down and making sure the two layers of dough really meet. Set on a pan lined with parchment paper and continue this process until all pies are assembled, including the second sheet of puff pastry.
- Brush the tops of all of the pies with more aquafaba. Sprinkle liberally with coarse sugar.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the tops are golden. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving. These can be stored overnight at room temperature in a sealed container.
From the Archives….
This post was originally published in November 2012.
For all of my fellow American followers—it’s Election Day! Regardless of which party you prefer, I think we can all agree on one thing—it’s fun to eat yummy food! 4 years ago, when we had the last presidential election, I made an American inspired feast for Irving and I including classics like hot dogs and apple pie. This time around Irving is traveling for work, but I have my little buddy here with me and he enjoys good food as much as his mama! We are going to feast on a new mac and cheese recipe I’ve concocted, Field Roast frankfurters, and for dessert we will have Apple Hand Pies with Rum Raisins! That’s a mouthful—which is fitting for this yummy treat!